13 Foods That Make You Feel Bloated (And How To Fix The Problem)
We all suffer from bloating at one time or the other. It is caused because our belly is swollen after taking something. It is usually caused because of gas or some other kinds of digestive problems.
Bloating occurs commonly and around every 2-3 in 10 people experience it often. But at the same time, bloating could also be a sign that you have some serious medical condition. But most of the time is just caused because of the food you have taken.
So which are these foods that could be causing bloating? This guide will show you the top 13 foods that can be of concern.
- Dairy Products
Dairy products are packed with nutrition values. They are loaded with calcium and proteins. You can include milk, cheese, yogurt, butter, or cream cheese in your diet. Despite the widespread use of dairy products, almost three-fourth of the people are unable to digest lactose (a sugar). And this is what we call lactose intolerance.
If you belong to this group, consumption of dairy products could lead to serious digestive problems. The symptoms can be gas, diarrhea, cramps and also bloating.
You may be better able to consume butter and cream. Then there are milk products which are free from lactose. Some of the alternatives are like coconut, soy, rice milk and almond.
- Carbonated Drinks
Many people suffer from bloating when they take carbonated drinks. We all know that these drinks are loaded with the gas carbon dioxide. When we drink them, our belly gets filled with all this gas. It could get trapped in our digestive system and lead to uneasiness due to bloating and could also cause cramps.
So rather than taking these beverages, just drink plain water, tea, coffee and fruit-flavored water are healthier alternatives.
Beans have sugars known as alpha-galactosides. They fall into a category of carbohydrates known as FODMAPs.
These are short-chain carbs that skip digestion but enter the colon to be fermented by our gut bacteria. This process results in gas being emitted as the byproduct.
If you have a healthy digestive system, these carbs generate fuel which is used by your beneficial digestive bacteria and there is no problem. But there are people who have irritable bowel syndrome, and in their case a different type of gas is produced due to the fermentation.
There are some beans that don’t cause so much problem. Eat black beans or pinto beans because they are more readily digestible, more so after being soaked.
There have been several controversies around wheat, especially over the past few years. Gluten is at the heart of this growing concern. Yet, there has been no decline in how much what is consumed worldwide. It is still the main ingredient in pizzas, breads, tortillas, and pastas. We cannot think of cakes, pancakes, waffles and biscuits without wheat.
Many people suffer from gluten sensitivity and or celiac disease, and wheat is the underlying cause of serious digestive problems in these people. The issues can include gas, bloating, stomach pain and diarrhea.
Healthier alternatives include quinoa, pure oats, almond flour, coconut flour, and buckwheat. They are all free from gluten.
Just like beans, lentils are also a kind of legumes. They are also rich in good carbs, proteins, and fiber. Besides, they are also rich in minerals like manganese, copper and iron. If you are sensitive, the high amount of fiber could cause bloating. If you are not used to taking lots of fiber, you are more likely to suffer from bloating.
Lentils also have FODMAPs. The sugars could also increase the production of gas and cause bloating.
But when you soak or sprout them, they will become easier to digestive. You should choose light-colored lentils. They contain low amount of fiber.
- Broccoli (Also other Cruciferous Veggies)
Broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts belong to the cruciferous vegetable family. These veggies are known for their high nutrient content which includes vitamins C and K, minerals potassium and iron, and lots of fiber too.
You should cook these veggies to make them more digestible. Or else you could replace them with sweet potatoes, spinach, zucchini, lettuce or cucumbers.
We all know onions to be the bulb veggie that grows underground and has a strong pungent taste. Onions are almost integral part of cooked meals. They are also widely used in salads and side dishes.
But many people also have intolerant or sensitive digestive system towards the nutrients in onion. If that is the case with you, avoid raw onion.
You may minimize these problems if the onions are cooked. You could replace onion in your dish/salad with spices or fresh herbs.
Barley is a cereal grain that is widely consumed. It is loaded with nutrients including lots of minerals and vitamins, and fibers. The main minerals include selenium, manganese and molybdenum.
The high amount of fiber in barley can cause bloating if you are not used to taking lots of fiber. Besides, it also has gluten, and you shouldn’t eat it if you are intolerant to it.
You could take refined barley such as scotch barley or pearl as alternatives. Or you could drop barley altogether and eat other grains/pseudocereals such as brown rice, oats, buckwheat and quinoa.
Rye is another cereal grain that is closely associated with wheat.
It is rich in nutrients and contains vitamin B group, copper, phosphorus, manganese, and fiber too. It also has gluten that you could be sensitive to.
The combination of gluten and fiber make it a big concern of bloating for sensitive people. So if you want to avoid bloating, replace rye with oats, quinoa, buckwheat or brown rice.
We all know garlic for its heath and flavoring benefits. But they are also loaded with fructans (FODMAPs) just like in the case of onions, and consumption may result in bloating.
A good solution to this problem is to cook garlic. This can help minimize the effects. Alternatives include spices and herbs like chives, basil, parsley and thyme.
Apple is one of the most widely consumed fruits in the world. It is full of vitamin C, antioxidants, and fiber. There are many health benefits of the fruit.
Despite all these benefits, many people suffer from bloating and other problems of the digestive system after consuming this fruit. The underlying cause for these problems is fiber and fructose, another form of FODMAP. Both these ingredients can undergo fermentation in our large intestine and result in bloating.
You can take cooked apples which are more digestible. You may however eat other fruits like oranges, bananas, strawberries, grapefruit, mandarins or blueberries.
We all have heard of ‘beer belly’. It is often used to refer to the belly fat that is commonly seen in people who are avid beer drinkers. But it is also used for bloating caused after drinking beer.
Beer is another carbonated drink that contains fermentable carbohydrate sources like maize, barley, rice and wheat Beer is worse than ordinary carbonated drinks for people with sensitive digestive system. It doesn’t only contain carbon dioxide, it has another ingredient – fermentable carbs and both are capable of causing bloating. In fact, the grains used for brewing beer may also have gluten.
Avoid beer and drink more water. Wine and spirits are known to cause lesser cases of bloating.
- Sugar Alcohols
Chewing gums and sugar free foods contain sugar alcohols. The most commonly used types are mannitol, sorbitol and xylitol.
Another concern is that these alcohols are also FODMAPs and can cause digestive disorders. They enter the large intestine as it is and her the gut bacteria can produce gas out of them.
If you take too much of these alcohols, you could suffer from diarrhea, gas and bloating. You should rather take erythritol, another form of sugar alcohol which is easily digestible. You can also take stevia.